Final Word from Monday, January 5, 2004





When American class-action lawyer Ed Fagan vowed in early 2001 to take legal action to protect all Austrian "victims" of Temelín, he got more publicity in the CR than in Austria. When another American class-action lawyer, James Linsey, vowed recently to help Czechs who had worked illegally in the U.S. for cleaning companies contracted to Wal-Mart, TV Nova treated him like a hero. Thousands of Czechs were exploited, viewers were told. They worked long hours and got no benefits. Class-action lawyers like Fagan and Linsey take a huge cut of any damages they win and rely on free publicity to stoke the fires. Fagan's lawsuit ultimately went nowhere, and Czechs who turn to Linsey might find that they also go nowhere. Publicly admitting that they worked illegally in the U.S. will make it hard to get a visa the next time they want to visit "sweatshop" America. Edward Lindsey aliens

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